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Author Topic: HMS Abercrombie  (Read 9173 times)

Bob K

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HMS Abercrombie
« on: December 29, 2015, 08:25:20 pm »

HMS Abercrombie

The order book at the Windsor Dockyard is quite full, with ongoing work on three ship projects in progress. However, as re-ballasting and submerge trim modifications on HMS Polyphemus are going well I hope soon to complete my Iggle Piggle novelty boat and finish off a 1.5 M HMS Kent (1901) in the Spring.  The time has therefore come to consider the start of my next unusual warship once a slipway becomes free.

The choice of subject has a twofold attraction. Firstly a massive barge-like hull with torpedo bulges topped by a pair of fifteen inch guns appeals to my instinct for the weird.  Secondly the ship was involved in both the Sicily and Salerno bombardments where my Father fought his way ashore in WW2, plus my wife’s father served on her in the Med’. The Monitor HMS Abercrombie.



I have some fairly detailed plans, including a nice set of hull section profiles.  This project will be a total scratch build, including my first plank on rib frame hull.  The ship will be 1/96. Almost 1.2 M long (will fit on my car back seat) but 285 mm beam.
I have managed to track down and order a 1/350 scale Combrig kit of her which I will use for scaling purposes.  Coming from the Far East it is expected in February.

More news soon !
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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2015, 08:38:44 pm »

Looking forward to your build Bob, I recommend getting a copy of Ian Buxtons Big Gun Monitors as there are some stunning pictures of Abercrombie in there.
Can't wait!
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Nick B

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Bob K

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2015, 09:35:48 pm »

Thanks for the recommendation Nick.  I have several months of research ahead, during which time I will endeavour to find all the information I can.
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srcampb

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2015, 03:26:51 am »

Bob,

Outstanding choice for a new project. It's been on my build list for years. Here's what a 1/48th scale hull was going to look like!

I also think you should pick up the Buxton book. Some of the line drawings are from the NMM, and are most helpful. NMM also has some 1/24th shipyard hull lines for the Roberts and Abercrombie.

The cylinder on a couple of the attached photos is a piece of 7" diameter model rocket body I was going to use as the barbette. On one photo, you can see my picture of how large the 15" turret would have been. The laws here are a little more relaxed on making blank firing guns than I understand they are in the UK... <smile> 

Here's wishing you the very best of luck on your build! Please keep us posted as you progress- inspire me, because I still have the four 1/48 4" HA twin gun mounts and quad 2 pounder mounts I bought from Sirmar years ago for this project.
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Bob K

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2015, 08:22:19 am »

Thank you srcampb.  The book is on order, from the USA.  Your ribs frame beautifully displays the unique profile of this unusual hull, and you can't get flatter than the surface you have it displayed on.
Some form of simulated gun firing would be nice, although as you say any use of black powder or similar requires many difficult to obtain licenses as to put that method out of reach for almost all in the UK.  I have been looking at RC tank firing mechanisms which produce a bang and a puff of (powder) smoke.
It may be a while until it gets past the R&D phase with other projects to finish first.
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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2015, 05:16:42 pm »

As HMS Roberts was built by John Brown surely you can get plans much cheaper than the NMM?

(The book is very good BTW)
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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2015, 05:37:32 pm »

I'll tag along Bob, it looks an interesting build  :}


Dave
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2015, 11:07:41 pm »

An excellent choice of build Mr K. I cannot recomend Buxton's book enough. It is an interesting read before taking the brilliant selection of images, drawings and statistics into account. It is a crowded superstructure, and I am amazed the designers, and subsequently, the navy managed to squeeze so much stuff aboard her! The design of the hull lines should make her less of a challenge to sail than her grand parents, Soult and Ney.

I have plans to build a Lord Clive class 12inch monitor some time in the future, so can only commend you for your choice of project and await the first post of the Build topic.

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Bob K

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2016, 02:58:49 pm »

The 1/350 Combrig/Trumpeter kit took a while to arrive from China, but is safely here.  The Ian Buxton book however, ordered in December from Amazon, turned out to be coming from the USA with a stated ETA of January 9th to 30th - up to a month.  When it still hadn't arrived by February I contacted the US book shop.  Although replying very promptly it turns out there is nothing they can do to track it, and have no second copy, so refunded my payment though Amazon.  I am now sourcing another copy.

The kit is excellent quality, including 2 sheets of detailed etchings, and will be used as a scaling guide. Library photos do not generally give enough info on how topsides detail and superstructure interface.
The only inaccuracy I can see is that the main gun barbette is a 12 sided polygon (dodecagon) as per sister ship HMS Roberts rather than the circular one for Abercrombie.


   A typical Combrig HMS Abercrombie kit made up  -  Not mine !

I have printed out the hull sections at 1/96 and have to plan out how I will construct my first planked frame hull.  Thank you 'srcampb' for your frame set photos which really helps.  Very strange shape, and ultra shallow draught.

At 1/96 the model will be 1,185 m long,  285 mm beam, and 35 mm draught
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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2016, 03:27:16 pm »

Of all the Royal navy Monitors I like the "General Wolfe"  A single 18" barrel fixed pointing to Port and twin 12" in a barbette.  Used in WWI to fire inland but could only use the big gun while sailing North.
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2016, 09:47:33 pm »

From what I recall reading, the 12inch turret was technically decomissioned once the 18inch was in use. The 12inch guns were very old and were probably worn out anyway so even less effective:O)

Hi Bob, I bought my copy from Wordery. They do not have any in at present, but they might do in the future. Is there any info I can give you from my copy?
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Bob K

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2016, 10:25:16 pm »

Thanks for the offer ballastanksian, but I have a replacement book coming.  HMS General Wolfe had the 18" gun originally fitted to HMS Furious, and holds the record for the longest-range firing in the history of the Royal Navy - 36,000-yard (20 miles).  Has to be one of the most unusual warships ever built.

I have hit a snag already in planning the rib sections.  If I use a layout similar to that used by srcampb the bottom of the centre recess would be above the shallow draught waterline, 35mm, making all batteries etc above that critical line.  I need to start with a thinnish flat board and build ribs from the sides, then reinforce the edges of the hull recess space to get mass as low as possible.
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2016, 11:02:25 pm »

Build a ply box to which you then add a bow and stern keel and off that fit frames that then continue along each side of the box. You then get two benefits.

1. You have a watertight box with a floor as low as it is possible to get.

2. It sould be simpler to contruct as you will have a box onto which all ribs etc can be attached to.

For Prince Rupert, I plan to make a box and then make the bulges from styrofoam on top of which will go a semi conventional bow and stern.
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Bob K

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2016, 01:51:17 pm »

The Ian Buxton book arrived.  It is certainly a lavishly illustrated mine of technical information, although needs a magnifying glass to read.  It has already provided insights on how to contract the hull. Apart from the massive sides bulges the hull is mostly flat bottomed and for around 80% of its length box sided.

This means that  ballastanksian's suggestion does indeed look the best way to produce this highly unusual hull.

Thus, instead of a full set of ribs on a central keel spline I will start using a flat ply box with a base that overhangs each side.  Thus only the ships ends will need shaped ribs with a solid stem and stern blocks.  Most of the ribs will be to form the bulges, a much easier proposition and will leave maximum internal space for fitting battery etc at lowest point.  A lot easier to plank just the ends plus the bulges.

Photo below shows Abercrombie under construction, with ships ‘sides’ almost as internal vertical longitudinal bulkheads.



This photo shows a cross section illustrating how the side bulges are an integral part of the hull structure.



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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2016, 03:33:57 pm »

That's a good way to start, my Dad has used that method on two models and it saves so much work. Just make sure you hold the ply sheet down tight whilst you make your box and ribs so it can't twist or move and you'll have a super strong hull that you can sheet in easier, see the Admiralty Train Ferry for an upside down version of this method! And on a massive plus side you have a purpose built box to put all the motors and radio gear in.


I know what you mean about the monitor book, but at least all the information is there, I used it a lot  during the kit build of Humber.
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Nick B

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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2016, 05:15:36 pm »

One of the bestest books I own:O) Buxton must have found a secret room he could wedge a sleeping bag in at the various libraries he researched at. I can't imagine having the time to put this much work in otherwise!

Gotta get ready and Rupert finished; I want to build a Monitor %%
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Bob K

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2016, 06:50:22 pm »

Nick B:  I am following your Dad's Admiralty Train Ferry build with great interest, being such an interesting and unique ship.  I have just been re-reading it to check the method of clamping he is using. I would like to see your HMS Humber on the water. it looks so shallow draught for all the electronic gear inside.

ballastanksian:  HMS Rupert is coming on nicely.  Been following her construction too. 

IMHO a big monitor is sufficiently unusual to stand out amongst the apparently huge proportion of tugs that abound on the water - No offence intended to tug enthusiasts  :D
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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2016, 07:05:11 pm »

Hi Bob


Once the weather improves I'll make your wish come true, I'll get some pictures of Humber for you. :-))
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Nick B

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2016, 07:07:23 pm »

Awesome, looks wise , this and HMS Roberts are my two favourite warships
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Bob K

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Re: HMS Abercrombie - Scratch ?
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2016, 08:32:45 am »

Planning and research is well underway, although I need to finish two other projects before a slipway becomes free to lay the keel.  I usually spend a fair amount of time on detail planning and collating data so this can safely be done in parallel with other build work.

A highly topical question is whether this will be, by definition, a scratch build ?

To the purists the answer is no, even though I am building the hull from plans and sections, with no other similar ship available commercially.

Absolutely no point in trying to turn / fabricate propellers, drive shafts batteries or electronics.  At a nice standard 1/96 I would not even contemplate drilling over six hundred 0.7mm stanchion holes in brass strip, or even making bollards if the correct type are freely available.  I reckon that despite this well over 90% of what will be visible will be hand crafted using ingenuity and mostly hand tools.

To be a genuine ‘scratch’ it must be 100% crochured.   Do I care?  Not in the least. If the purists look down their noses -  tough. 
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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2016, 10:30:38 am »

What an unusual ship most interesting, I'll follow along if that's ok.
I may get converted to proper ship building  :-))
Colin
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derekwarner

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2016, 11:34:22 pm »

Hullo Bob....following along with interest  %)

We see her hull profile below all on one level.....

Inboard  = Port side boiler flat
Outer void x 1= water tight compartment air space
Outer void x 2 = water jacket
Outboard void x 3 = water tight compartment air space

1. So with the knowledge that she could only fire athwart ships <*<...is this just to provide a larger hull footprint for stability?
2. "Used in WWI to fire inland but could only use the big gun while sailing North".....so would this have been to Stdb?
3. Have you completed any volumetric guestimations to understand her displacement?
4. Is that her waterline I have marked in to the Port side?

Keep us posted... Derek :-))
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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2016, 12:17:53 am »

I've always used the (prototype displacement in long tons) divided by (the cube of the modeled scale) method. It's part of what scared me about a 1/48 monitor!
If that method is close to right, a 1/96 Abercrombie would be about 21 and a half pounds (9.8 kilos) at an 8,536 ton standard displacement, and about 24 and a half pounds (11.1 Kilos) at a 9,717 ton deep load?
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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2016, 12:36:17 am »

Thankyou yes, I fully understand the calculation of actual displacement divided by the cube of the scale = displacement of the model

Our member Bob K is well known for his research and ballasting studies :embarrassed: prior to his builds, however asking the BLUNT question  >>:-( also sparks the need to assess the all up weight of all components, hull, motors, batteries, electronics etc.....[guestimations are not permitted here, as these are real units of measure and not scale.....hence the need for accuracy]

Clearly in this build, the construction of all of those outboard void spaces will be well suited to any needed water ballast ....

PS...this is also where those digital kitchen scales purchased for your better 1/2 come into their own best use O0.....Derek
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Bob K

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Re: HMS Abercrombie
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2016, 01:50:20 am »

Thank you guys.  As you know I am at a very early stage with this, and yes I have done volume ballasting calculations before on my semi-submersible HMS Polyphemus. The section shown previously is from the centreline to one of the two side torpedo bulges, it is similar on the other side. ie:  huge bulges on each side.  The colour line I have added approximates waterline, in which the top 'corner' of the bulge is almost awash.
Draught at 1/96 works out to just 35mm.  Total beam is 285mm.
The set of plans I have shows two profiles.  One marked 'Admiralty plan', the much deeper draught one 'Hobby plan'.  I would prefer to go for the actual keel as otherwise mega ballasting would be needed, depending on calculations.  On a very approximate quick calculation displacement should be around 7.6 litres, 7.6 kilos.
I have digital scales that go to 1gm for weighing components, which need to be low as practical. 



Interesting protection scheme using sloping armour plus a combination of air voids and a water jacket between. 

PS:  This was a WW2 ship (launched 1942), not the WW1 General Wolfe mentioned earlier.
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